3 March 2004
SHELLEY, Mary (1797-1851). Autograph manuscript poem on the death of her husband, the title, 'Stanzas By the Author of Frankenstein', inscribed in a different hand at the head, 16 lines of verse, n.p., n.d., one page, 4to (numbered '349', pencilled annotation in upper margin, integral leaf removed, browned, traces of guard on verso); blue morocco case. Provenance: purchased from James F. Drake, New York, 16 May 1934, $150.
The poem comprises two stanzas of eight lines, the first opening:
'How like a star you rose upon my life
Shedding fair radiance o'er my darkened hour!' The reflective mood of the 'Stanzas' suggests that they may have been composed some years after Shelley's death rather than in 1822. The poem was first published in The Keepsake for 1839, with another, identically titled and on the same theme, and again, as examples of her verse style, in an essay by Sylva Norman in Edmund Blunden's On Shelley (1938).
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